The New One showed heart and class in equal measure to win the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained five-year-old (7-2) benefited from a fine ride from the Naunton handler’s son, Sam, to defeat Irish raider Rule The World by four lengths.
Pont Alexandre, the 6-4 favourite from Willie Mullins’ stable, was always to the fore under Ruby Walsh but finished third.
In a race devoid of any serious pace, Pont Alexandre and Ubak jousted for the lead up until the penultimate flight, when the latter was worried out of it.
Mullins’ inmate remained in a strong position, with Taquin Du Seuil and Rule The World firmly in contention.
Sam Twiston-Davies had all bases covered, though, and scampered along the outside of the field as The New One secured his third victory from four starts this season.
The heavily-backed Pont Alexandre finished another four and a half lengths adrift of the accomplished scorer.
The winning rider said: ``This is him in his full glory.
“He jumped brilliant and travelled away great. You won’t get a much better feeling than that.
“It was absolute class. I had a bit of trouble in running coming down the hill.
“I’d like to think he’d be really, really good.
“This race looked very competitive and considering we got a few knocks down the hill he has really picked up.”